The playoffs have started, excitement is building – it is almost time for the Super Bowl. Here at Acadian Hearing, Dr. Heidi Sorrells and her team are looking forward to the big game and we’re sure you are too. As people get talking about the game, there will be lots of football trivia exchanged. But did you know that a number of famous NFL players have a hearing loss? Keep on reading to find out their stories.
You might remember Kenny Walker from the 1990s – he played for the Denver Broncos in 1991 and 1992. You may not know that he developed a hearing loss after getting spinal meningitis as a toddler. Walker’s fans at the University of Nebraska, where he was a star player, loved him so much that they used sign language for ‘applause’ to show him their appreciation. Walker was even named the NFL’s Most Inspirational Player and has helped many other deaf players.
Another well-known player with a hearing loss, Reed Doughty, was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2006. Doughty has family who also have a hearing loss and so his own hearing loss wasn’t as hard to get to grips with as it may have been for those who have little understanding of the condition. He never let it slow him down, though he admits that his newer hearing aids, which are waterproof, dust-, and shock-resistant, have made a big difference.
One of the first deaf NFL players was Bonnie Sloan, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1973. At that time, deafness was much more of a challenge in sports; his high school football coach didn’t even want to let him try out.
Last, but definitely not least, is Derrick Coleman, currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals but most famous for his time with the Seattle Seahawks. Coleman has been legally deaf since he was a young boy. He learned to read lips, even through a football helmet, and also wears hearing aids.
Look after your hearing on Super Bowl day
Now that you’ve got some football trivia to throw into conversation in the run up to the Super Bowl this year, we can’t let you go without some advice on looking after your hearing. If you’ve ever been in the crowd at a football game, you will know how loud it gets. If you’re going to any live games, wear earplugs to protect yourself from the deafening roar of the crowds.
For fans watching at home and in bars, it can still get pretty loud, so try to take a break from the noise occasionally. That way, you can avoid waking up with a ringing sound in your ears the following day.
If you have any concerns about your hearing, or if you’d like to find out about custom hearing protection, you can visit our hearing center in Lake Charles and Sulphur. All you need to do to get your hearing health checked is click here to book your hearing test with our Audiologist Dr. Heidi Sorrells.